VERNON, NY- Another exciting night of action was witnessed by the large crowd at Utica-Rome Speedway as Stewart Friesen continued his winning ways in the 358-Modifieds, Jessica Zemken used a last turn pass to win her 4th Sportsman event,...
VERNON, NY- Another exciting night of action was witnessed by the large crowd at Utica-Rome Speedway as Stewart Friesen continued his winning ways in the 358-Modifieds, Jessica Zemken used a last turn pass to win her 4th Sportsman event, and Bob Mills held off a late charge from Jerry Holmes to win his first Pro Stock race at the speedway. George Catanzano won the IMCA Modified event; Russ Marsden took his sixth win in a row in the Pure Stocks, while Chuck Powelczyk was the victor in the Four Cylinder Super Stocks on J&J Yamaha, JM Uvanni Motors, and John's Auto Restoration night.
Gus Schmidt was the early leader in the 30-lap DIRT 358-Modified feature with Mitch Gibbs, Dave Camara, Todd Burley, and Brian Weaver chasing early in the event. By lap 6, Burley gained the runner-up position and began his chase of the leader Schmidt. Lap 8 saw Burley get around Schmidt and began to set a torrid pace in the front of the field.
Stewart Friesen, coming from 18th, made his way to second by lap 10 and despite several cautions that put Friesen on the rear bumper of Burley, Friesen could not make his way to the lead. A lap 17 caution saw the field bunch again, and this time Friesen was able to take advantage and took over the top spot on lap 18. The remainder of the event saw Friesen open up a sizable lead as the race continued caution free. Friesen raced away to score his 6th win of the season. Burley held on for second, Camara crossed in third, Bobby Varin from an early flat tire to finish fourth, and Gibbs was scored in fifth. Dave Rauscher, Schmidt, and Burley took home the heat wins.
The 20-lap DIRT Sportsman feature saw Bill Shantel, Jr. jump out to the lead from his pole starting position with pressure coming immediately from Darryl Hagen. While Hagen pressured the leader Shantel, point leader Jessica Zemken and Paul Carey were beginning to make their way up the front. By the halfway point, it was still Shantel and Hagen with Carey now third, Kyle Lewis in 4th, and John Cunningham riding in 5th. By lap 15, Carey was right behind the front running duo and was looking for room to get by. By lap 18, Zemken finally caught the front pack and was immediately looking for racing room. Using the low groove, Zemken was making a lane of her own and slipped into third while Hagen momentarily got the lead going into turn 1 after getting the white flag. Shantel was able to regain the top spot exiting turn 2 as Zemken, still using the low groove, grabbed second from Hagen. Exiting turn 4 on the last lap, Zemken got alongside Shantel, and she won the drag race to the finish line. It was Zemken's 4th win of the season at Utica-Rome Speedway, while Shantel, Carey, Hagen, and Cunningham filled out the top five. Shantel and Steve Way won the qualifying heats.
Eric Vanderhoof led the first lap of the 15-lap Pro Stock affair until Bob Mills took command on lap 2. Mills, looking for his first ever Utica-Rome Speedway win, would have to withstand heavy pressure from past champion Jerry Holmes throughout the event. At the halfway point, it was Mills, Holmes, Dave Moyer, Mark Effner, and Jason Rood. With the white flag waving, Holmes made a last ditch effort for the win. Exiting turn 4 for the last time, Holmes pulled even with the leader Mills, and then spun in his attempt to take the lead. Mills crossed the finish line first, with Rood, Tom Denton, Moyer, and Jim Normoyle chasing. Heat wins went to Moyer and Mills.
In the inaugural weekly IMCA event of 2004, Sean Lias used the outside pole starting position to his advantage as he took the early lead of the 15-lap event. George Catanzano would jump into the second position from his 5th starting position and set sail for the leader Lias. With the crossed flags being shown, it was Lias, Catanzano, Aaron Jacobs, Richard Townsend, and Shawn Simmons. Catanzano finally caught the Lias machine on lap 10, and made his way by Lias going down the backstretch. Catanzano led the remainder of the race with Lias settling for second, Jacobs, in third, Townsend in fourth, and Simmons in fifth. Lias was the victor in the lone heat race.
In the popular Pure Stock main event, Phil Norman was the early leader until the 3rd circuit when point leader Dave Pope took over. Russ Marsden, charging from 13th, slipped into second on lap 4 and immediately began to pressure Pope. As lap 5 was going into the books, Marsden gained the top spot was never headed for the remainder of the 15-affair. Pope would hang on to finish second with Chris Cunningham, Phil Marsden, and Jim Thomas filling out the top five. Pope and Russ Marsden won the Pure Stock heat races.
Chuck Powelczyk took over the lead from early leader Jack Hill on lap 6 of the Four Cylinder Super Stocks and would hold on to win 4th win of the 2004 season. Jim Money, Jeff Leslie, Joey Delacruz, and Lee Hartzog finished in the top 5.
The next event at "The Action Track of the East" is this Wednesday July 14 when Mirabito "The Energy Leader" and Wilber-Duck Chevy/Buick presents the Turning Stone Casino Super DIRT Series for the 358-Modifieds and the East Region Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman Super DIRT Series. The Four Cylinder Super Stocks are also on the schedule. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m., time trials at 7 p.m., and racing at 7:30 p.m. The next Sunday night race is July 18 with regular show of DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, IMCA Modifieds, Pure Stocks, and Four Cylinder Super Stocks presented by Prism Environmental, S&S Environmental, and Triple B Welding. Gates open at 3 p.m. with racing at 5:30 p.m.
JJ YAMAHA, JM UVANNI MOTORSPORTS, JOHNS AUTO RESTORATION RACE SUMMARY
DIRT 358 MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS) -- STEWART FRIESEN, Todd Burley, Dave Camara, Bobby Varin, Mitch Gibbs, Jamie Christian, Gus Schmidt, Brian Weaver, Mark Flach, Paul Kinney, Tony Ross, John Ramsey, Tom Perrego, Dave Rauscher, Todd Thomas, Ken McGuire, Kory Gurney, Joel Thomas, Mark Tily, Willy Decker, and Paul Jensen.
DIRT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS) -- JESSICA ZEMKEN, Bill Shantel, Jr., Paul Carey, Darryl Hagen, John Cunningham, Bill Price, Mike Button, Jeremy Vunk, Kyle Lewis, Steve Way, Tim Nye, Pat O'Hanlan, Matt Janczuk, Butch Reiter, and Kenny Stafford.
I.M.C.A. MODIFIEDS (15 LAPS) -- GEORGE CATANZANO, Sean Lias, Aaron Jacobs, Richard Townsend, Shawn Simmons, Chris Thurston, John Mason, Tom Delaney, Kevin Buff, Skip Pabis, JoJo Donato, and Carol Parker.
DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS) -- BOB MILLS, Jason Rood, Tom Denton, Dave Moyer, Jim Normoyle, Roy Fifield, Bret Belden, Mark Effner, Bill Knapp, Dave Briggs, Ryan Lund, Eric Vanderhoof, Brian Belden, Craig Hale, Jerry Holmes, Rob Ribecky, Scott Tifft, Ed Ostrander, Dave Fox, Harold Humphrey, and AJ Digsby.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS) -- RUSS MARSDEN, Dave pope, Chris Cunningham, Phil Marsden, Jim Thomas, Phil Norman, Chuck Cushman, Bob Bird, Art Newman, Frank Hyatt, Rick Condes, Ted Crawford, Shawn Dunn, Matt Steckel, Ricky Marshall, Steve Delano, Dave Janczuk, Ray Fancher, Michael Barney, and Walter Koperda.
FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE FINISH (8 LAPS) -- CHUCK POWELCZYK, Jim Money, Jeff Leslie, Joey Delacruz, Lee Hartzog, Rich Murtaugh, Jack Hill, and Loraine Birmingham.